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Gary John Barden: Eleventh Hour

Former MSG man signs off.

Given that his pipes are in perfect working order, the news that Gary Barden is going into semi-retirement is an odd one. For those that might have missed it, Barden shone bright yet briefly with MSG on their first two albums, the pinnacle of that band’s career. Not that Michael Schenker would agree – he’d oust Barden from the band and then bring him back for their fourth record, Built To Destroy.

Inconsistency did for them, and Barden, despite stints with Statetrooper and Praying Mantis, remained criminally under-used for huge swathes of his career – which is a real shame given his work here.

He’s especially good on his own songs, the strident Fallen By The Wayside as well as working on the Russ Ballard co-write, Child Of Sorrow.

There are no great surprises, he can still carry a ballad or lead from the front when the band decides to charge, which is no bad swansong, all things considered.

Philip Wilding is a novelist, journalist, scriptwriter, biographer and radio producer. As a young journalist he criss-crossed most of the United States with bands like Motley Crue, Kiss and Poison (think the Almost Famous movie but with more hairspray). More latterly, he’s sat down to chat with bands like the slightly more erudite Manic Street Preachers, Afghan Whigs, Rush and Marillion.